one's speech, one can win kingdoms, wealth and friends.
One can develop relationships and even invite death with
one's speech. Words are crucial for profit and loss,
repute and disrepute, joy and sorrow. When words are
good, the result is good. Bad words produce bad results.
Every man should discriminate between good and bad words,
control his speech and use only appropriate words.
Dharma and justice are
the foundations of the universe. Dharma Eva Yato
Moolam, Dharma Eva Mahaatgunam - There is no foundation
or virtue greater than dharma. The one who defined,
practiced, and propagated dharma for the good of
humanity was emperor Manu. He had two sons. The
first was Uttânapâda and the second,
Priyavrata. Uttânapâda had two
wives - Sunîti and Suruci.
Sunitî's son was Dhruva and Uttama
was Suruci's son.
These stories are very
important for today's students. When students listen to
inspiring accounts of pure souls, their tender hearts can
be transformed. There are many changes in the world
today. Human life itself is a series of changes from
infancy to adolescence, then to middle-age and old-age.
An egg becomes a bird. A seed grows into a tree. These
are all effects of change. These are all effects of
change. Change is necessary not just in Nature but in
humans also, especially, in youth. What kind of change?
Ideal transformation. To pride yourself on changing from
a boy into an educated man is not ideal change. Ego is
not a sign of true transformation. Education must result
in the blossoming of humility and obedience. Humility is
the jewel of students. Unfortunately, it cannot be found
nowadays. In the days of the Bhagavatam, students
developed human values, contemplated on Divinity and
earned the Vision of God.
The Story of Prince Dhruva -
was five years old and Uttama, four-and-a-half. Once both
were playing in the garden. Their father,
Uttânapâda, was watching them
indulgently and enjoying himself. After some time
Uttama became tired. He ran and sat in his
father's lap. Uttânapâda was extremely
fond of Suruci, the mother of Uttama.
Sunitî's son, Dhruva, also ran
forward to do the same. Suddenly Suruci ran
forward and flung Dhruva away from his father. As
if that wasn't enough, she hurt his tender heart with
harsh words: "Dhruva! You may be the King's son,
but not mine. Only a son born of me has the right to sit
on the King's lap. If you want to sit on your father's
lap, the only way is for you to take another birth as my
son! This is your fate for being Sunitî's
son". In this manner, Suruci unleashed arrow-like
words at Dhruva. Dhruva walked back to his
mother's palace. He entered and sat down silently in a
corner. Tears were coursing down his cheeks. Some maids
noticed his condition and informed Sunitî.
Even when asked by his mother, Dhruva sat quietly
with a tear-stained face. Sunitî came to know of
the incident from her maids. She lamented her plight,
"Dhruva, you had the misfortune of being born to me. I am
treated like a maid by everyone in the palace because the
King favors the other queen. So how can my son get any
respect?" She told Dhruva, "My son, pray to God and be
born to Suruci." Immediately Dhruva replied, "I have no
more interest in life after this insult." He blamed his
stepmother for her selfishness. Sunitî went close
to him and stopped him, "My son, we should not criticize
or blame others. Why? Because the result of that blame
accrues to us also. Your stepmother's words, despite
being harsh, will result only in your good. Whatever
anyone may say is for your good. Do not blame your
stepmother. She has shown you the path of your destiny."
Will any mother advise likewise today? But
Sunitî was different. Her name was
Sunitî, meaning 'embodiment of virtue
(niti)'. She passed on those morals to her son
Dhruva said, "So what do
you want me to do, mother?" Sunitî replied, "Son!
No one can really help another. It is God alone who is
the sole refuge of everyone. He alone can fulfill all
your wishes. Go to the forest and seek Lord
Nârâyana to achieve your desires." Are
there such mothers today, who send their five-year-old
sons to the forest for penance? She placed her hand on
Dhruva's head as blessing and said, "Whether you are in
the forest, city, village, mountains, or sea, God is the
only refuge of the forlorn. Instead of suffering in the
palace, it is much better to delight in thoughts of God
in the forest. Wherever you may be, I am not in a
position to help you. God will take care of you. Don't
think of the forest as a forest but as God's abode. Go
and seek Him, my son."
Dhruva accepted his
mother's words as command, prostrated at her feet and
left immediately. A mere five-year old boy! He did not
know what a forest was, the way leading there, how to
pray, what pleases God ... nothing! Yet, he didn't pause
to worry about these issues. "I must follow my mother's
command. I must undertake penance. I must achieve the
Lord's Vision." There was no thought in his mind besides
By the power of Suniti's
blessing, the divine sage Nârada met Dhruva
midway. Nârada divined Dhruva's intentions. He
asked the lad, 'Where are you going, yound Dhruva? Are
you going to play?" Dhruva said, "Yes, o divine sage, I
am going to play with God." Nârada asked. "Where is
God?" Dhruva answered, "My mother told me to go to the
forest and seek Him."
"O foolhardy child! Don't you know that most renunciates
and knowers of scriptures cannot attain the Lord even
after centuries of penance? You are a child. You have no
worldly experience. You don't know about God. How can an
innocent, ignorant child like you achieve God? It is
impossible!" Dhruva replied, "Nârada, age is not
important to the Lord. My mother's blessing and my
determination will take me to the goal."
Nârada tried to
dissuade Dhruva by talking of discomfort, fear and
failure. "There are many animals in the forest. Dangerous
snakes will pursue you everywhere. Ghosts and evil
spirits abound as well. You are accustomed to royal
comforts, having no experience in the ways of the world.
No, what you have determined is too much." But Dhruva was
firm. "I will never return to the palace. My resolve is a
divine one, not a wicked one. God dwells in a pure heart.
A decision that emerges from my heart is, therefore, a
divine decision! I will never give it up."
Today's students have a
glorious lesson to be learnt from Dhruva. Strong
Determination - This is necessary for every
achievement in life.
Dhruva did not give heed
to Nârada's words. "It is my mother's command. I
should follow it even at the cost of my life and prove
the value of a mother's word. I must, and will, succeed.
As soldiers are the life of a fort, as a signature is the
life of a promissory note, similarly truth is life to our
faculty of speech. I will never give up truth. Sathyam
Naasti Paro Dharmah - There is no dharma higher than
Truth. I am Manu's grandson, who was a great proponent of
dharma. I must be the embodiment of sathya and
dharma." These were the lofty thoughts chasing
each other in Dhruva's mind.
admitted defeat. He admired Dhruva's resolve and felt
pity for him. He said, "Son! Your determination and
purity have have deeply affected me. I will come with you
for a while." They went to the banks of river
Yamunâ. There, Nârada instructed Dhruva,
"Dear child, if one chants the name of the Lord with a
purified mind, the Lord appears soon." They had a bath in
Yamunâ and Nârada whispered into the ear of
Dhruva, the great dvâdasâksara
(twelve-syllable) mantra: Om Namo Bhagavate
Vâsudevâya - 'My respects for Vâsudeva,
the Supreme Lord'. [see S.B.
After Nârada left,
Dhruva found a shady part in the forest, fixed his seat
and began chanting the mantra. He chanted Om
Namo Bhagavate Vâsudevâya without
interruption. He forgot his body. However, because of his
tender age, he felt hungry and thirsty at times. During
the first month, he ate fruits fallen on the ground. In
the second month, he ate only tubers and leaves. In the
third month, he subsisted on water. In the fourth month,
he survived on air. His body was reduced to a skeleton.
That is natural for the body. The body is born of food.
It is called anna-maya kos'a
- sheath of food.
Within this physical
sheath are prâna-maya kos'a (sheath of
life), mano-maya kos'a (sheath of mind),
vijñana-maya kos'a (sheath of knowledge)
and finally, ânanda-maya kos'a (sheath of
bliss). Dhruva neglected only the anna-maya kos'a.
He merged the name of the Lord with his
prâna-maya kos'a. With inhalation and
exhalation, he repeated Om Namo Bhagavate
kos'a. Dhruva clearly pictured in his mind the form
of the Lord as described by Nârada, which was
imprinted in his heart. What is the inner meaning? He
recited the Lord's name while picturing His Form. And he
pictured the Lord's form while reciting His Name. Name
and Form - this became Dhruva's penance.
Name & Form = Penance (Tapas) -
The whole forest became
hot due to Dhruva's one-pointedness. Sages dwelling there
could not bear it. They were astonished that a
five-year-old boy could sustain such iron control over
the mind. They tried to obstruct his concentration in
manifold ways. They created snakes, which circled his
body. They sent wild animals and evil spirits to trouble
Dhruva. But nothing could disturb him, much less harm
him. Dhruva thought, "My mother said that God is the
refuge of the helpless. So the Lord will take care. I
need not worry!" What deep faith he had! When nothing
could even distract Dhruva, the Gods in heaven went to
Nârâyana to intervene on Dhruva's
Dhruva's eyes were
closed. He didn't even want to look at the world. "I do
not desire anything belonging to this world", he had
decided at the outset. "This body is composed of the five
elements. It is bound to collapse one day. But the
Indweller has neither birth nor death. That Indweller is
God. I have assumed this body for the sole purpose of
seeing that Indweller." Gradually, he became so weak that
his voice was no longer audible. He repeated Om Namo
Bhagavate Vâsudevâya in his mind.
Finally, the Lord responded. Lord
Nârâyana [Lord Vishnu]
appeared in front of Dhruva.
As the Lord came closer
and closer, His effulgence intermingled with Dhruva's
aura and Dhruva shone brighter and brighter. Suddenly,
finding his heart empty of the Lord's Form, Dhruva opened
his eyes. He saw the Lord standing in front of him.
Smiling, Dhruva said, "O Lord, so long You were in my
heart. Now You are outside me. Are You trying to leave
me? I won't allow it."
Dhruva had recognized
that what we see outside is a reflection of our own
hearts. If you feel that someone is bad, that bad is not
in him, but only a reflection of your heart. Your own
thoughts, both good and bad, appear to you outside as
reflection, reaction, resound.
Nârâyana was taken aback at Dhruva's
ideal qualities! The Lord mused, "How surprising that
these eternal feelings have entered this young boy! He is
enjoying the benefits of many past lives spent in the
divine Quest." Thinking thus, the Lord laughed within
Himself. Dhruva had lost his voice but still, he started
extolling the Lord. He described all the ten
Avatâras of the Lord and His exploits. He
gazed upon the Lord continuously, without blinking. He
held the Lord's Lotus feet tightly. The Lord asked him,
"Child, what do you want?" Dhruva could not produce any
sound. He appealed to the Lord mentally. The Lord touched
his cheeks with His conch and fresh energy coursed
through his body, restoring his speech. Then the Lord
stood back, clenching His hands together.
Dhruva approached the
Lord, closer and closer. The Lord asked him again,
"Dhruva, tell Me what you desire." Dhruva was so
enraptured that the Lord had to repeat the question many
times. Finally Dhruva said, "My Lord! Why do You insist
on drowning me in mâyâ? You knew where
I was, what I was doing and who I was praying to.
Otherwise You could not have come here. Knowing all this,
don't You know what I desire? Of course, You do!"
Dhruva was talking high
philosophy! But God had read two books more on
spirituality than Dhruva! Lord Narayana replied, "Child!
The thought that prompted your penance was the desire to
sit in your father's lap. You put this thought into
action by performing this penance. But it remains to be
seen what your word will be."
Students should recognize
clearly what God was looking for. Manasekam
vachasyekam karmanyekam mahaatmanam - Unity in thought,
word, and deed is the mark of a great soul. "You
resolved upon a goal. You acted as per your resolve. Now,
I want to hear from your lips: What do you seek?" the
Dhruva replied, "Dear
Lord, in ignorance I desired my father's affection.
Unable to bear an ordinary insult, I sought to sit in my
father's lap and enjoy my rightful privileges as his son.
I acted upon that resolve. Now that I've seen You,
touched You and talked to You, I want only You. I craved
a drop of water and found Divine Nectar itself. I desired
a piece of glass and found a diamond."
The Lord smiled. "Dhruva,
by thought and deed you desired your
father's proximity. But by word, you desire only Me. Your
thought, word, and deed are not in harmony. However, note
that the majority lies toward your initial desire. Hence,
it is My command that you return to your father's kingdom
and make your mother happy."
Do you see, how subtle,
mysterious, and impeccable are the Lord's ways? The Lord
did appear. He showered grace on the boy in manifold
ways. But Dhruva's thought, word, and deed were not in
harmony. For such a small fault, poor Dhruva lost to the
Lord! Finally Dhruva said, "I offer everything to You"
and left the decision to Nârâyana. The Lord
said, "Son, obey My command. Till now, you followed your
mother's command. Now, I am your father, mother and
everything. There is no lasting happiness in the
Jaraa Dukham, Jaaya Dukham Punah Punah,
Antya Kaale Mahaa Dukham,
Tasmaat Jaagrata Jaagrata!
Birth, old age and death
are full of sorrow.
The final moments are most pathetic.
So beware, beware!
I am sending you back so
that you fulfill your initial resolution. You must return
without hesitation", said the Lord. Having said this, the
Lord waited for Dhruva's response.
Dhruva said, "It is Your
command and I will obey it. No matter what I may
experience by leaving You and returning, no matter how
disappointing, I will follow Your command." Only after he
made this promise, the Lord came forward and took Dhruva
in His embrace. Holding him close, the Lord spoke
endearingly to the young lad. "Dhruva! For God to be
earned by such a young boy as you - this has never
happened in the world."
There is an acute need
for such boys and girls in the world today - truthful,
obedient to parents and devoted to God. There is no
meaning in devising new social orders and principles. Is
it enough to merely change societies in this manner? No,
thoughts must change! Divine, novel, elevating feelings
must be encouraged by students.
The Lord continued,
"Dhruva! You have to teach much to the world about the
glory of the Divine Name. Now I will enter you." A light
emerged from the Lord and entered Dhruva. The boy who was
so frail for the past few months was filled with energy
and brightness. He jumped up and touched the Lord's Feet.
The Lord disappeared.
The Lord's ethereal voice
continued speaking to Dhruva. "Dearest child! You must
rule the world as an ideal emperor for many years yet.
Your father is repentant. He looks forward to your
return, moment to moment. He has given up food and sleep
and wants only you. Go back, go back, go back. After you
complete the task of ruling the kingdom, I have set aside
an exalted position for you. The Polaris Star situated in
the midst of the Sapta Rishis, the Sun and the Moon shall
henceforth be called Dhruva Star. All celestial bodies
circle the Dhruva Star. Even Polaris itself may change
but you will be eternal. You are an embodiment of
immortality. Your life will be an expression of Bliss."
The Lord also promised that Dhruva would reach Him at the
end of his life span.
Just look at how much
grace overflowed to Dhruva when he agreed to follow the
Lord's command! Dhruva obtained immortal fame, the Lord's
constant presence within himself and the Lord's love.
Much, much more than what he originally desired. That is
why it is not necessary to ask God for your desires. Just
follow the Lord's commands and His Grace will overflow,
The Sanctity of the Bhâgavatam -
In this manner, the
Bhâgavatam is full of devotion. But there is no one
today with even a thousandth part of Dhruva's devotion
and virtue. The sanctity of Bhâgavatam is
unsurpassed because it contains the lives of such exalted
souls. But people neglect this scripture and even cast
wrong accusations on it. Bhâgavatam is nothing but
God's Love, from start to finish. But all cannot
understand Divine Love. Some scholars' interpretations of
Krishna's lîlâs are
At what age did
Krishna play with the gopîkas?
Krishna was a five-year old boy! At that age is it
possible to interact with gopîkas as commonly
portrayed? Krishna went to Mathurâ when He
was five years and one month old. And He never returned
to Gokula. Did you not play with your sisters when
you were five years old? Can this be perceived as
immoral? When Parîkchit asked S'uka about Krishna's
behavior, S'uka explained it to him in the same way.
S'uka was a celibate. A perfect celibate delighted in
Krishna's sports with the gopîkas. Isn't this
surprising? S'uka said, "Parîkchit! Do you see
Krishna as God or as a man? If you consider Him God, you
cannot entertain such low feelings. These defects are
really in you. You see your own faults outside you as
reflection, reaction, and resound. Even if dirt
approaches God, it will turn into purity."
Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnaana Moortim,
Dvandvaateetam Gagana Sadrisham, Thath Thwam Asyaadi
Ekam Nityam Vimalam Achalam, Sarvaadhi Saakshi
Bhaavaateetam Triguna Rahitam....
"Ever blissful, granting
happiness, embodiment of wisdom,
beyond duality, infinite as the sky, primordial, final
One, eternal, stainless, immovable, omnipresent
beyond feeling, devoid of the three gunas" - such
God is an ocean. The
feelings and desires of devotees are streams. When both
merge, the ocean remains the same but the streams get
purified. The ocean is never disturbed. Another example.
If you mix one cup of milk in ten cups of water, you
decrease the value of milk. But when one cup of water is
mixed with ten cups of milk, the worthless water acquires
the value of milk. Thus, when two entities merge, the
purer and greater one lends its qualities to the
God is beyond the three
gunas. Will He behave like one trapped in
gunas? Whatever thoughts anyone entertained
towards Krishna, He was totally pure and
unattached. It is true that the gopîkas
related to the body of Krishna but even that was not in
any immoral sense. The gopîkas were pure and
unsullied. The meaningless interpretations of scholars
have stained people's perceptions of the
Bhâgavatam. God is ever pure and selfless. These
scholars cheat people when they look upon God as anything
less than Purity itself.
The Return of Prince Dhruva -
The tender heart of
Dhruva set an example for everyone. Dhruva started back
toward his father's kingdom. Uttânapâda
(Dhruva's father) was informed. In great excitement,
Uttânapâda sat in a palanquin with
Sunitî (Dhruva's mother), Suruci, and Uttama
(Dhruva's brother) and set out to welcome Dhruva. As
Dhruva walked through the forest he looked like a
luminous star. He had so much brightness! He was only
five years old. Skipping and jumping, he laughed in pure
joy as he ran home.
jumped down from his chariot and ranforward to embrace
Dhruva. He lifted Dhruva in his arms and said, "Forgive
my faults, son. To me you are Nârâyana
Himself. Falling prey to attachment, I was unfair with
you. I made your mother suffer in many ways." Dhruva
replied, "Who am I? Who are you? You are not the father,
I am not the son. I am Nârâyana, you are
Nârâyana, everything is Nârâyana.
Where is the question of pardon?" Speaking of unity of
the âtmâ, Dhruva melted his father's heart.
He taught âtmâ vidya even to his
said, "Enough time has been wasted already. Come now." He
sat in the palanquin and took Dhruva on one thigh and
Uttama on the other. In this manner they reached the
kingdom full of joy and excitement. Sunitî
witnessed this scene. She had been away from her husband,
and her son was in the forest. She had endured a lot of
pain. She had spent the many months wondering, "I don't
know what sins have brought upon me this suffering - the
pain of separation from my husband and my son. Which
woman can live in this manner?" This Sunitî, who
had been submerged in despair, could not contain her joy
and excitement on this day. She also took Dhruva in her
arms and played with him joyously.
Dhruva's penance had
lasted five months. He came home when he was five years
and five months old. And he was crowned as the emperor
when he was only six years old! Uttânapâda
rightly realized that for one who had realized God, it
was not a big task to rule over a kingdom. During the
coronation, Uttama held the royal umbrella over Dhruva's
head while Uttânapâda and his wives sat on
either side of him. The parents felt, "If our son, so
tender and young, could achieve God's Grace, why should
we waste our time? Human life is not for enjoying wealth
and comfort, but to reach God."
Only then did
Uttânapâda recognized the true meaning of the
term manuja (man). Manuja = Manu + Ja (born of),
meaning, child of Manu. All humans should behave
like children of Manu, embodying his characteristics.
Manu always followed dharma. He defined
justice for the good of humanity. The law followed in
every court today, is based on Manu's exposition.
Thus, it is our duty to practice dharma as laid
down by Manu. After Dhruva's coronation, that very day,
his father and mothers left for Skanda
Âs'rama to spend the remainder of their lives
in solitude and meditation.
Dhruva ruled for many
years and won the love of his subjects by ensuring their
happiness. He waited patiently for his merging with the
Lord, recalling the Lord's promise. During his last
moments a chariot came from the Lord to take him. Dhruva
told the charioteer, "Where do I need to go? Why do I
need to go, when God is everywhere?" He taught the
Supreme Truth even to the charioteer sent by God! "You
expect me to go to God in this chariot. That is
meaningless. God is here, as He is everywhere. I will
merge into Him now," he said. He sat down in the chariot
and chanted Om Namo Bhagavate Vâsudevâya.
The light in him merged into the Lord.
The Power of Devotion -
Such sweet, blissful and
dharmic stories are found nowhere except in the
Bhâgavatam. You heard the Lord telling Sage
Durvâsâ yesterday that even God's Will
pales before the power of devotion. God says, "I will
gladly accept defeat but never let a devotee down. I am a
servant of My devotees. I wait day and night as a
watchman in the prayer room of My devotee! Do you know
why? My devotee could express any desire at any time. I
want to be present to fulfill his slightest wish. I am
the final authority everywhere - except with my devotee.
My devotee alone has the final say."
Through His actions, God
has always demonstrated that there is no force greater
than the power of devotion. What is bhakti,
devotion? Bhagavad anurakti (attachment to
God) is bhakti. Within bhakti are contained
bhukti (food), rakti (desires),
yukti (cleverness), anurakti (attachment,
love), virakti (detachment), and mukti
(liberation). Where did the word bhakti
originate? Man's primary need is food, bhukti.
Sareera Maadhyam Khalu Dharma Saadhanam - the
body is a means for observing dharma and it needs
food. Next, man needs rakti, desire. The third
is yukti, worldly intelligence. It is necessary to
know how to live in this world. Next comes anurakti - We
must love all without distinction. These are followed by
virakti and mukti. In all these words, the
common syllable is "kti", "Bha" from
Bhagavân (God), and "kti" from these words
combine to form bhakti.
Therefore, He who grants
you bhukti, rakti, yukti, anurakti, virakti, and mukti
is God. Bhakti is not limited to performing worship,
doing arati and so on. We must offer ourselves to
God! We must hold on to prema (love) in all
situations. This is bhakti.
Dhruva attained victory
in every test. He was only five years old. Boys of that
age enter our Primary School in the 1st Standard.
Meaning, this 1st Standard boy showed such great
dedication. Where did Dhruva obtain such strength? He
achieved everything with determination. We
must achieve with determination also - achieve not
worldly victories, but God Himself. We should not fear
troubles and give up. Only then our devotion will be
blessed with strength from God. For everything, pure Love
is the basis.
A devotee approached
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and asked, "Master, how
can I see God?" Ramakrishna replied, "O madman, you cry
for wife, children, and wealth. All your grief is wasted.
Cry for God instead. Then you will achieve His Vision,
without a doubt." Therefore, we should not cry for
worldly ends. "Naara" is water, and
"Nayana"means eyes. The naara flowing from
your nayana must be offered to none other than
Nârâyana! These are tears of
Only tears of joy
(ânanda), not tears of misery, can transport us
into the ânanda-maya kos'a - the sheath of bliss.
Everyone must go beyond the anna-maya kos'a, prana-maya
kos'a, mano-maya kos'a, and vijñâna-maya
kos'a and reach the ânanda-maya kos'a. You must try
in all possible ways to achieve bliss. For everything,
God's Grace is the foundation. Become worthy of His
concluded with the bhajan:
"Govinda Hare, Gopala Hare, Hey Gopi Gopa Bala"]
(this bhajan immediately followed by "Hara S'iva
(layer, whirl, hole, the inside, the covering, a sphere
but also: treasure, scrotum, seedpod and dictionary),
there are seven layers, dimensions or departments in the
body of a person or the greater universe that must be
seen as the body of God. The texts S.B.
speak of the five elements, the noumenal and the
phenomenal. The Bhâgavatam speaks of layers each
ten times the size of the preceding one after the other
consisting of earth, water, fire, air, ether, the
totality of energy and the false ego. In other
vedânta a schools there is also mention of the
layers anna-maya kos'a to the earth of the senses of
action, prâna-maya kos'a to the water of the senses
of perception, mano-maya kos'a to the fire of the spirit,
vijñana-maya kos'a to the air of the intellect,
ânanda-maya kos'a to the ether of I-consciousness,
citta-maya kos'a to the citta, the consciousness of the
dual, the total energy of the phenomenal and
âtma-maya kos'a to mahat, the total energy of the
purusha, the noumenal. It is also associated with the
parts of the brain and the stages of samâdhi: earth
and water kos'as for the frontal areas, the backbrain for
the fire kos'a, the air-kos'a the base of the brain and
the cortex the ether kos'a.
- There is also mention of seven (layered) constituents
or ingredients of the body (S.B.
2.10: 31): nails,
skin, fat, flesh, blood, bone and marrow (chyle and semen
are also mentioned sometimes instead of skin and
- The seven measures of this body of the totality of
matter, the false ego, ether, air, fire, water and earth
'that surrounds me like a pot'. (S.B.
- The seven layers of the cosmic golden egg as conceived
by the five elements ego and mind (Shâstri,
- Monier-Williams Dictionary: 'a term for the three
sheaths or succession of cases which make up the various
frames (or 'bodies') of the body enveloping the soul:
1. the ânanda-maya kos'a or "sheath of pleasure",
forming the kârana-s'arîra or "causal
2. the vijñâna-maya or buddhi-maya-kos'a or
mano-maya-kos'a or prâna-maya-kos'a, "the sheath of
intellect or will or life", forming the
sûkshma-s'arira or "subtle frame";
3. the anna-maya-kos'a, "the sheath of nourishment",
forming the sthûla-s'arîra or "gross
(Mahârâja): (dhruva means: permanent,
eternal, constant) great devotee who in his fifth year of
life underwent severe penances and realized the Supreme
Personality of Godhead that way (see S.B.
Vishnu: God the maintainer,
ruler over the mode of goodness. Divided in three known
- Mahâ-Vishnu or Kâranodakas'âyî
Vishnu from whose pores all universes appear.
(Vâsudeva and Nârâyana).
- Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu: for each universe
laying down on a snake bed and with Lord Brahmâ
generating the complete diversity (Pradyumna).
- Kshirodaks'âyî Vishnu: for each living
entity locally present as the Paramâtma or God in
- See for a description of the Vishnu-avatâras